Brothers Simon and Tim Jones oversee the production of Lincolnshire Poacher on their family farm, Ulceby Grange in Lincolnshire. The farm has been in the family since 1917. The first batch of cheese was made there in 1992. Simon Jones was taught cheese making by the late Dougal Campbell, who made a cheese called T’yn Grug in west Wales.
Lincolnshire Poacher is often described as a cross between Cheddar and mountain cheese. Nowadays all the milk from the farm is turned into cheese, except for a small portion that is sold raw at farmer’s markets.
The brothers are passionate about land stewardship. They farm sustainably to get the best milk from their closed herd. They create their own energy from wind, sun, heat exchange, and a straw pellet boiler. Cheesemaker Richard Tagg will turn about 6000 litres of milk into roughly 28 to 30 wheels of cheese, which are matured by an experienced and dedicated team in the farm’s immaculate storerooms. We typically select our cheeses when they are between 12 and 18 months old, and sell them between 18 and 24 months old.
It can sometimes be hard to know how much cheese to buy. If you are at all unsure please give us a call for some advice. As a general rule of thumb, we would recommend roughly between 100 and 150 grams per person for after dinner, and a bit more if cheese is the focus of the meal.
If you are buying cheese to serve over a couple of days or as part of a buffet, it is advisable to buy a few larger pieces. This will both look better and keep better than many small bits.
To help visualise weights, a good tip is to consider that a regular supermarket pat of butter weighs between 200 and 250 grams.
Farmhouse cheese is handmade and thus varies with each day’s production and changes as it matures. As such it is necessary to apply a common sense approach to cheese care and respond to the cheese you have in front of you, as opposed to following rigid guidelines. Here are some pointers which will help you to ensure you eat your cheese at its best.
We sell our cheese wrapped in waxed cheese paper, which achieves the best possible balance between maintaining humidity around the cheese and allowing it to breathe. We are happy to provide some extra cheese paper, you can add some to your basket by visiting “accompaniments“. If you wrap your cheese in cling film or foil, it can cause the cheese to sweat which will negatively affect the flavour.
Cut pieces of cheese should be kept in the refrigerator to slow the growth of mould on their cut surfaces. However, it is important to be aware that refrigerated cheese is more likely to dry out, particularly if it is not wrapped. The best option is to keep the cheese wrapped in its waxed paper within a box in the fridge. The container will help to prevent the cheese from drying out and prevent the cheese from absorbing flavours.
It is very important not to serve your cheese when it’s too cold as cold cheese can taste bland and inert. As a general rule of thumb you should bring it out of the fridge a few hours before you plan to serve it. You should keep your cheese wrapped whilst it is coming up to room temperature, to avoid any risk of it drying out. If it is especially warm you should reduce the amount of time the cheese is out of the fridge accordingly.